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Win Against Sin! Now THAT’s Good News!
Regarding sin, here’s a test: try NOT to think about a crystal bowl of Red & Green M&M candies. Now, try not to sin. As long as we walk around in these earth suits, we’re going to have a VERY hard time NOT sinning. Frankly, even if I never sinned, I’d get pridefull about how good I am in comparison to you. Pride is a sin; a very serious matter that got Lucifer booted out of Heaven. Pride really does come before a fall, according to Scripture. Even babies know how to sin. No one has to tell a little kid how to be selfish or steal.
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,” (Romans 8:1) If even a minister serves up a message of condemnation for you, quite simply, it’s NOT from God. How do we know? Because those things that are from the Holy Spirit manifest themselves in Edification, Exhortation, Comfort (1 Cor 14:3). The Spirit Himself has come to convict us of our sin, righteousness and judgment (John 16:5-11). Jesus said, “But now I am going to him who sent me; yet none of you asks me, `Where are you going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts.
Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convince the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin (ministering conviction and leading to godly sorrow, repentance and resulting in more followers of Jesus), because they do not believe in Me; concerning righteousness (because, with Jesus gone, the Spirit would continue reminding us of who we are in God’s eyes so that the Cause of Christ – this Kingdom work of ours – would continue), because I go to the Father, and you will see Me no more; concerning judgment (what God had prepared for the devil and his angels and those who willfully follow him), because the ruler of this world is judged.
Conviction of sin? Yes, NOT condemnation. Once that conviction leads to godly sorrow, it will lead to repentance (2 Cor 7;10).
Conviction of righteousness? Yes! We MUST become convicted of our righteousness – our right standing with God. If not, we will find ourselves wallowing in the condemnation Satan heaps upon us in relation to our pasts.
Judgment? As one speaker said, “God votes you go to Heaven. Satan votes you go to Hell. YOU cast the deciding vote.”
Let’s remember that, although Eph 2:8,9 declares that, “For by grace you have been saved through faith…,” though are saved by God’s grace, that same grace is NOT a license to sin. Guess what? We’re going to sin ANY WAY!
That’s the Good News (Gospel) about sin; that even though we may do our level best NOT to sin, when we do – and we WILL – we have an advocate (Jesus) with the Father. Sure, you may never fly a plane into a tall building, or have an affair with a high ranking official. But do you ever Doubt? Do you ever Fear? Lie? Steal? Lust? Covet? Gossip? Isaiah 64:6 says Our righteousness is filthy rags in God’s sight. Romans says There is NO ONE righteous; not even one. ALL have sinned and fall short of God’s glory. Folks, at our BEST, we’re not good enough. As Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 10:12. “…When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.”
Think about it; who among us had sinned before Jesus died on that cruel cross? No one. So, logically speaking, if ALL our sins were atoned for at Calvary, ALL includes ALL the sins you and I ever committed AS WELL as all the sins you and I will EVER commit, right?
Now, despite the fact that we are so good at holding one another to our own self-righteous measuring stick, merciless standards of what is good and acceptable, though man looks at the outside, God looks at the heart (1 Sam 16:7). Are there consequences for our sins? You’d better believe it. Gal 6:7,8 says: “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.”
The principal of reaping and sowing – the seedtime-to-harvest existence we have here on earth, was set in motion by God back in Gen 8:22. But be of good cheer; though those negative seeds of sin will bring forth a negative harvest, those positive seeds of blessing will bring forth blessings from God that will overtake you, to. So, remain blessable at all costs!
So, what’s the Good News about sin? The Good News about sin is that the debt has been paid. The key is simply in making Jesus the real Lord of your lives though experiential relationship. We are encouraged by Scripture to GROW in grace and in the KNOWLEDGE of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3;18). How does a person fall in love with anyone or anything? By spending TIME with that person or thing. Jesus WANTS to be a REAL Person in all of our lives. Sadly, too often, He never shakes His status as a mere historical figure. The plain truth is that most who call themselves Christians are doing so only because they weren’t born in Baghdad or Islamabad or Pakistan. Many consider themselves Christians despite having ZERO relationship with Christ. Christless Christianity is no Christianity at all.
Do you want to grow in that relationship? Years ago, I was asked to pick up a wonderful godly woman for a church service as her car was in the shop. I thought, “Here’s my chance!” As we drove along, I asked her what it was that made her seem so “different” than so many other Christians I had met. She smiled knowingly and said it came down to three very simple ingredients. 1) Pray all the time. “It’s a 2-Way form of communication, talking and listening.” 2) Study the Word. “It’s a love letter; the word “Bible” stands for Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth,” she quipped. 3) Fellowship. “Not merely attending Church services but surrounding yourself with people whose Faith-Walk you admire and want to emulate. Remember, we all need a Paul, a Barnabas and a Timothy in our lives.”
A few years back, I performed a wedding for a Catholic man and his Church of Christ bride. The groom’s mother was a beautiful 40-something woman who had gone through an ugly divorce 20 years prior. In counseling the couple, the young man revealed to me that his mother would not take communion as a result of her feelings of unworthiness by way of her divorce. I was able to discuss this matter with her at the reception. I reminded her that the cross of Christ was all that would ever be needed for our forgiveness. There are NO VIP SINNERS and that she was as forgiven by God through Christ as anybody EVER. Friends, I think I could hear shackles and chains falling off the woman as she beamed with delight! OK. I exaggerate a bit. But it was a glorious moment, that’s for sure.
WHAT IS SIN?
Appearing 827 times in the Bible, the Greek word for “sin” is hamartia ham-ar’-tee’-ah, and it literally means “to miss the mark” as when an archer fails to hit the center of the target.
Who has sinned? According to Rom 3;23, ALL have sinned. Rom 3:19 says there is no one righteous; no, not one. Isaiah 64:6 describes our own righteousness as “filthy rags” in the sight of God. Basically, being good isn’t good enough.
Finally, there’s this verse from 1 Jn 1:8,10: “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. if we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us.” We’re LYING to ourselves if we think we don’t sin or that we can obey the 10 commandments. I recall the very first sermon that ever stuck with me. I chose to listen to Billy Graham on a small transistor radio on my bed. He was describing how we all break the ten commandments all the time. Adultery? Jesus said you’ve committed adultery through lust in your heart. Murder? Jesus said your as guilty of such if for merely hating another person. NONE of us was innocent.
Even Al Capone, the gangster, considered himself quite the benefactor to society. The evidence? The public was buying what he was selling. Likewise, pornography is a $7 Billion a year business. Is it beneficial? By Capone’s definition, it is, obviously, as so many are buying the product of porn. “But exhort one another daily, while it is called today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin,” (Hebrews 3;13). Sin causes a person to be deceived. The more a person sins, the more he may be deceived.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF SIN – NOT VARYING DEGREES
Unpardonable sin – if you’re worried about it, you haven’t done it. Numerous Christians are afraid they had committed the unpardonable sin. Christians who believe they have committed the unpardonable sin have a difficult–if not impossible–time accepting the doctrine of eternal security.
Hundreds of verses in the Bible promise the forgiveness of our sins, but only one passage refers to an unforgivable sin. Jesus healed a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute (Matt12:22). The multitudes began to say, “This man cannot be the Son of David, can He?” They wondered if Jesus was the Messiah. The Pharisees accused Jesus of casting out demons by Beelzebub, ruler of demons. Jesus’ response to their accusation led Him to conclude what He said in Matt 12:31-32. In this passage He refers to blasphemy, defined as “defiant irreverence.” i.e., cursing God or willfully degrading things considered holy. Here the term refers to the declaration of the Pharisees who had witnessed undeniable evidence that Christ was performing miracles in the power of the Holy Spirit. Yet they attributed the miracles to Satan. In the face of irrefutable evidence they ascribed the work of the Holy Spirit to that of Satan.
Many Bible scholars agree that this unique circumstance can NOT be duplicated today. The Pharisees had seen proof of Christ’s deity. But instead of acknowledging God, they attributed the supernatural power to Satan instead of the work of the Holy Spirit. Christ is not in the world as He was. Although the Holy Spirit still accomplishes supernatural things through His servants, they are merely representatives of the King. The circumstances of Matthew 12 make it impossible for this sin to take place today. This incident is the only one in which a sin is declared unforgivable. The Bible states, “Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Rom 10:13). No invitation to salvation carries with it an exception clause, “unless you have committed the unpardonable sin.”
No matter how evil our sins, there is pardon for them. God forgave David for his adultery, dishonesty, and murder (2 Sam 12:13, Ps 51). Simon Peter’s denial of our Lord accompanied by profanity was forgiven (Matt 26:74-75). The apostle Paul was forgiven of his preconversion merciless persecution of Christians (Acts 9:1). Just about every possible sin is listed somewhere in the New Testament. And every one of them falls into the category of “Forgivable.” That’s Good News!
Sin of Commission: When we actively do something sinful.
Sin of Ommission: When we fail to do something we should do. (James 4:17) To him therefore who knows to do good, and doesn’t do it, to him it is sin.
The Sin Unto Death: The phrase “sin unto death” describes the final stage of divine discipline in which God removes from the earth the person who is totally alienated from God. Calling home a disobedient child who disgraces the family name. The “sin unto death” is described in 1 Jn 5:16; Psalm 118:17,18;Ezek. 18:21-32.
Some case histories of the “sin unto death”:
* Acts 5:1-10.
* 1 Cor 11:30,31.
* 1 Chron10:13,14; 1 Sam 13:9-14.
* Isa 38.
* Num 31:8; 1 Tim 1:19,20.
(1 Peter 1:18) At the moment of salvation, you were changed SPIRITUALLY. You were crucified with Christ, you died to the world, and you were “redeemed with the precious blood of Christ from worthless ways of living.”
(Col 3:3) “For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” Not only that, but at the time of your conversion, the Holy Spirit – God Himself – came to live on the inside of you. Satan wants you to believe that you’re no different now than before you were saved. If he can convince us that we haven’t changed on the inside, we will live a lifestyle that’s not much different than anybody else’s. We are to make them JEALOUS.
WHAT JESUS SAID ABOUT SIN
CHRIST TAUGHT THAT TEMPTATION IS NOT SIN
(Lk 22:28). 40/40 nights Jesus was tempted by Satan. He never yielded.
(Jn 8:46) Jesus describes His entire LIFE on earth as a period of trials.
(Heb 4:15) Jesus never sinned, because He never yielded to temptation.
Temptation is not sin—ONLY an opportunity to do either right or wrong–to serve either God or Satan. You can’t stop a bird from landing on your head. But you can stop it from building a nest there.
JESUS TAUGHT THAT MISTAKES ARE NOT SIN
HERE ARE 4 statements of Jesus all leading to a conclusion that sins are not mistakes and mistakes are not sins.
(Jn 9:41; Jn 3:19-21; Jn 15:22 and Jn 15:24).
99 out of 100 people who read these passages will understand that sin is relative to light; that sin never occurs without a conscious and willful choice of evil. Wherever Jesus spoke of sin this moral principle was clearly implied or plainly taught.
Dr. George Lamsa, widely known as world’s foremost authority on Aramaic language, the language Christ spoke, stated: Sin separates us from God—Mistakes are not sin—No one can be forgiven without repentance—When a sinner repents he is no longer a slave to sin and Satan.
When I was a boy, I decided to “help” my dad by pounding the crooked teeth on his handsaw to straighten them out. For those who aren’t aware, the teeth on a hand saw are SUPPOSED to be crooked, like a sharks’ teeth. Dad pulled up just in time before I could make a dent. He lovingly explained and I was not punished.
(Matt 5:48) Was I sinning? Should I have been punished? No, I made a mistake. As long as the heart stays right we are not sinning, even though the head lacks information. No one is perfect in knowledge, though any one can be perfect in heart. This is what Jesus meant, “Be ye perfect, even as your Father which is in Heaven is perfect” Remember, 1 Sam 16:7, ‘Man looks at the outside; God looks at the heart.”
Many accuse and beat themselves up about sin when they have only been tempted but have not yielded. Of course, if one is tempted and yields to the temptation enough to entertain the will to do it, when he knows it is evil, he is then sinning.
IT’S A BATTLE FOR YOUR MIND!! Thoughts become a stronghold. Control is lost. We are SLAVES to sin. RENEW our minds! (READ 2nd Corinthians 10:15) Cast down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and to bring every thought into captivity to God.
(Matt 5:28).Billy Graham said, “the first look is free; after that we’re accountable.” Here it should be remembered the thought of sin was deliberately entertained—and the looking was done with the purpose of lusting.
(Matt 5:29, 30).Jesus follows this thought of “looking to lust.” He was saying that if any part of our body actually forces us to sin we’d beer off to literally tear it off because sin, unrepented, is fatal to the soul.
Remember, this was before a drop of blood was shed at the cross! Up till that time we were STILL under the Law of the old covenant.
GRACE = the Power to do what is required of us.
JESUS REDEEMED US FROM SIN
(1 Jn 2:1)
(1 Jn 3:8)
(1 Cor 10:13)
(2 Cor 10:5
(1 Jn 5:3-5)
(1 Jn 3:3-10)
WHEN WE SIN, WHAT NEXT?
I do not believe or teach that it is impossible for a Christian to sin. Even as Jesus was tempted by the devil, Christians will continue to be tempted. As a Christian relies upon God, no temptation will be too difficult (1 Cor. 10:13). If a Christian takes his eyes off of Christ, sin is almost sure to follow.
“If any man sin…” Notice first of all that this verse says “IF”. If a Christian sins then he needs to confess the sin and repent of it.
(James 5:19-20) if a Christian wanders from the truth and commits sin, he needs to be restored in order to be saved from death.
(Heb 2:11), If you seek to live a holy life, cling to Jesus, the One who MAKES us holy
(Gal 5:13; 1 Peter 2:16). WHEN you sin, TURN from your sin. Don’t try to turn God’s grace into a license to continue in your sin and do not try to cover up your sin.
(Prov 28:13) And after you have confessed and repented of your sin, trust God to give you the grace and strength to overcome it in the future.
(Rom 6:14)Don’t be weakened in your faith. Don’t let your trust and reliance in God waiver, for he is able to keep you blameless and present you before his presence faultless and with great joy (Jude 24).
Struggling With Sin or defeated by it? We become what we surround ourselves with.
“Struggling with sin” is a phrase that is used rather lightly in many religious circles. The word “struggle” means to “fight against”; it means to “strive not to give in”. It does not mean or imply that the one who is struggling is on the losing side of the struggle. And yet, many “Christians” when they say that they are struggling with sin they mean that they are committing sin(s) even while trying not to. They mean that they have struggled and then they were defeated by sin. And so perhaps the word “defeated” rather than “struggling” more accurately describes such people. Sadly, many people accept such “struggling” (actually defeat) as a way of life. They have not truly struggled so hard that they have suffered any great deal striving with all their might not to give in to temptations
ALL FLESH SEEKS AFTER ITS OWN COMFORT
Many would say that they “struggle with” lust, greed, covetousness, anger, selfishness. Actually, they mean that they fight against it a little, but end up giving in to these temptations. They claim that they are trying not to sin. But in reality they watch commercials that promotes lust; they watch movies and television programs that encourages coveting; and they listen to music that contains all sorts of self-oriented lyrics. Can anyone actually say they are truly trying to overcome temptations? Will God believe them when they say that they tried? Make every effort to enter the kingdom of heaven through the narrow door, Jesus says, because many will simply try but not be able to (Luke 13:24).
(1 Cor 10:13)
But don’t believe the lie that because you struggle you are in sin. It is not true.
GOOD NEWS ABOUT YOU! Struggling against sin does not mean that you are displeasing God.
Struggling against sin is one of the main evidences that you HATE sin. God looks at the heart.
Christians do struggle with sin…and get the victory through faith. The “struggle” of the Christian is not a vicious cycle of try-fail, try-fail, try-fail,… No, the struggle of the Christian echoes the sorrowful, yet rejoicing words of the Apostle Paul, “we faced trials far beyond our ability to endure” (2 Cor 1:8); “God has delivered us and will continue to deliver us” (2 Cor 1:10). “Now thanks be to God who always causes us to triumph in Christ” (2 Cor 2:14).
Perhaps you are convicted by God. Perhaps there is sin in your life that you cannot seem to give up. Do not lose hope. Rather, repent and get rid of everything that hinders you (Heb 12:1-2). Truly submit to God. Resist the devil and do not give your temptations a foothold.
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